When RADARSAT-2 is launched in the near future the continuous flow of data from the SAR sensors on the satellites will be prolonged for several years. Continuous data flow is very important in order to pay attention to evolution in the nature, such as the climate, ice and snow covering etc. The Nordic countries, like all countries at high latitudes have greatly benefited from this type of satellites; thus we look forward to the operative phase with great expectations.
From dawn to twilight.
Consequences for the rest of the World.
Altimetry measurements are acquired by an altimeter on a non-synchronous satellite in a repeating low-Earth orbit designed to ﬂy over the same points at regular intervals.
The ocean climate has traditionally been monitoring with measurements from ships. Research vessels, advanced instruments and skilled technical personnel are then needed to acquire high quality data.
Three fully autonomous Terma HE-5AS Star Trackers provide the precise pointing knowledge required for the main instrument, the SIRAL interferometer, on-board the CryoSat satellite. All three Star Trackers are mounted directly on the payload antenna bench of the CryoSat satellite for optimized structural stability between the star sensors and the payload sensors measuring frames.
Two types of satellite earth observation sensors are particularly interesting for monitoring the polar environment: Synthetic Aperture Radar and Radar Altimetry.
Only a few meteorological observation series in the high Arctic are available during the last 100 years. Fortunately one of those series is located on Spitsbergen.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concluded in 2001 that man-made emissions of so-called “greenhouse gases” most likely are leading to global warming, and that the temperature incrase probably will be at maximum at high northern latitudes.
Professor Ola M. Johannessen Nansen Environment and Remote Sensing Center